SpaceX Hits New Milestone, 8x Reused Rocket Booster

Space Coast, FL – SpaceX launched their Falcon 9 rocket booster B1051 today. It’s mission, the 17th batch of 60 Starlink satellites. The launch happened to day in Florida at NASA Kennedy Space Center from LC-39A (Launch Complex 39A) at 0802 EST.

Falcon 9 Sunrise
Falcon 9 B1051.8 poised at legendary LC-39A at sundrise | Photo: Jon Van Horne

Payload

The payload of 60 Starlink satellites were sent into LEO (Low Earth Orbit). This now makes the Starlink constellation more than 1,000. Starlink’s performance far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet. It is to deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.

Falcon 9 SpaceX Lift Off Starlink L16
Falcon 9 B1051.8 lifts off from LC-39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA | Photo: Jon Van Horne

The Rocket Booster

This amazing launch brought us a new record by SpaceX today. The 1st time a Falcon 9 rocket booster has launched and landed 8 times! B1051.8 pulls into the lead veteran position ahead of Falcon 9 B1049.7. This is also the quickest turnaround time for a single Falcon9, at 38 days.

The Falcon 9’s first stage booster rocket, used today, previously supported seven other missions: the SXM-7 mission in December 2020, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission in June 2019, launch of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission in March 2019, and four Starlink missions. Not to mention that one half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported a Starlink mission and the other previously supported two.

USA Flag and SpaceX
The calm Flag of the US of A watched as SpaceX launches into space | Photo: Jon Van Horne

Following first-stage separation, Falcon 9 successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The SpaceX fleet fairing catchers GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree were out in the Atlantic as well. Their mission is the recovery of the fairings. The nets were down today as there were some rough seas. They will be going fairing fishing instead of catching.

Fairing Catchers SpaceX Fleet Go Ms Chief and Go Ms Tree
Fairing catchers out to fish for fairings in the Atlantic Ocean | Image: SpaceX Live Stream.

We congratulate SpaceX on their successful mission today and their end goal of total reusability. Looking forward to the next one, Transporter-1.

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